I went to the stables at the livery yard to get my pony in for the night.
When I walked out to the field I noticed that the horse’s back was covered with lots of very long, very deep scratches. Blood was soaking the tattered, shredded remains of the lightweight shower-proof rug the pony was wearing.
I was absolutely distraught; crying, inconsolable with a kind of grief and a kind of guilt that my pony was in so much pain.
Fresh blood oozed from the big, open, machete-like cuts as the pony walked alongside me from the field in to the yard.
It looked at me with eyes filled with such pain as I tied him up.
I filled a bowl with a warm, soapy solution and bathed the pony’s back, to soften the crusted blood and cleanse the wounds. I peeled back the shredded remains of the rug, the warm water washed the blood down its coloured – Skewbald – back and flanks.
The pony stood still and didn’t fret even though I could feel its pain; it knew I was helping to make things better.
I couldn’t dry its back, because of the deep cuts. I couldn’t put the pony in his stable because he would roll and the bedding would scratch in to the wounds, so I left the pony tied up outside in the hot sunshine with a haynet to chew on.
Then I was at home, standing in the kitchen. I was trying to work out what could have done that to the pony’s back. What could have shredded his lightweight rug.
And then I remembered that the livery yard (which was a farm-based yard, in Somerset, run by a couple I haven’t seen or thought about in maybe a decade), had a big – and I mean a massive – cat.
I drove back to the farm and peered around the corner of the stable block and there were three very scared-looking ponies arranged in a semi-circle. In the middle was the cat.
He was standing on his hind legs and was wrapped in the remains of the lightweight rug I’d peeled off the pony earlier, like some kind of bad monk.
The cat was massive.
He was talking to the ponies in a threatening, scary voice.
‘And remember,’ he hissed. ‘If you don’t do as I say, you’ll get the same treatment as that pretty little pony I had to damage earlier.’
I looked over to the pony who was still tied up where I’d left him, and I saw those terrible, deep, vicious slashes on its back and I was suddenly filled with an enormous rage and anger.
I ran *at* the still-standing-on-his-hind-legs cat with my entire racing pace and I when I reached it I punched it *hard* in the head; a straight-arm jab with the full force of my run and all of my strength combined. I hit it with every single ounce of my strength and that strength was fuelled by horror and rage and anger.
The cat fell to the ground with a *thunk*. I stepped away from the covered cat-body, stood between it and the three ponies and then I kicked it *hard* in the head and I heard a loud snap.
Then I stamped on its head and jumped on its body and kicked its loose, lolling head head again and again. It’s body writhed in the same way that a dead chicken’s body writhes after a not-clean kill.
But it was dead and I kept kicking the head and stamping on the body until all of the rage was gone.
Then I went over to my pony and said, ‘I’m sorry I brought you here, but everything is going to be all right now.’
I cried as I petted the poor injured pony.
Then I wrapped up the dead cat in the even more bloodied remains of the rug and put it in a bin and went home.